Now that we have longer daylight we can venture a little further. Our outing this time will remind us of days gone by. The elegance, grandeur and prime location of a Stately Home. Those were the days when most people in this country did not own so much as a blade of grass – the days when the “haves” were few in number and the majority were the “have nots” – the days when so much of the land in this country was owned by an Earl or Duke or Marquis or one of those described as “the landed gentry”.
In Crosby you are familiar with one of the last bastions of that era – Crosby Hall in Little Crosby – the home of the Whitlock-Blundells. Some may remember the days when Ince Blundell Hall was a Stately Home lived in by the Weld Blundells – Jim Dillon’s book tells much of the history of it. On a smaller scale some may remember Thornton Lodge lived in by the Radcliffe’s – which is, of course, now Jospice International. In those days the properties around the Stately Home would be lived in by those who worked on the Estate. There were of course in cities and towns rows of terraced houses owned perhaps by someone who lived in the Isle of Man or some seaside resort far away and the rent was collected by a rent collector. Nowadays it is entirely different. Most people now own what they live in – it may not be fully paid for in the sense that it is mortgaged – but they own it in the sense that they can change its colour or improve it etc.,
Anyhow, to remind us of bygone days we go to Wigan – yes Wigan of all places !! So we go to Liverpool by whichever way is convenient – some may prefer to go all the way by bus – others may prefer to get the 53 bus to South Road and there get the train to Liverpool. Then get the train to St. Helens Central – 00, 28 and 32 minutes past the hour generally speaking. At St. Helens walk the short walk to the Bus Station and get the 352 bus to Wigan, 5, 20, 35 and 50 minutes past each hour. At Wigan Bus Station get the 575 bus (every 15 minutes) to Haigh. Get off at the end of St. David’s Avenue and turn left where the bus turns right. Walk straight forward passing Our Lady’s Catholic Church and at the Balcarres Arms keep left and walk on past the School and watch for the Windmill on your left – a plaque tells you about that – then carry on to Haigh Hall. This was in bygone days the home of the Earl of Balcarres (hence the Balcarres Arms you passed). Many years ago he left it to the people of Wigan for our use and enjoyment – but we don’t mind sharing it with people from Crosby if they wish to come ….. The views from there are really good. Toilets are available. There is a courtyard with shops and café. Much of the parkland has been laid out as a golf course. I understand that soon Lady Mabel’s wood is going to be made accessible – it isn’t at present.
Some may like to go back a different way by walking downhill to the “Plantation Gates” (entrance worthy of a Stately Home) where one can get the 362 bus to Wigan Bus Station an then 352 bus to St Helens and train to Liverpool.
Click on Haigh Hall for more information.
Please contact the Parish Office if you visited Haigh Hall and let us have your feedback. Many thanks!